What drives you?
My love of helping people. But I suppose it would be safe to say that I particularly love helping people who want to help themselves. If I can give them a leg up, I’ll do it.
This applies whether these people are my friends, customers or my staff. There’s nothing that gives me more of a buzz than seeing someone’s dreams come true.
Describe a typical day.
There is no typical day! I guess I love the variety that each day brings. My day could include writing a feature article for a glossy magazine, interviewing a CEO, mentoring business owners, recruiting new staff, networking, keynote speaking at an event, strategising new projects or cooking up plans with other entrepreneurs.
What’s the biggest mistake you’ve made?
I’m very trusting. That, in itself, is not a mistake of course. It’s just that I have a lot of faith in people, which is a strength, as well as a weakness. In some cases, I need to do a more comprehensive due diligence on people before entrusting them with a major project or responsibility.
What’s the one piece of advice you didn’t get that you would give to women who want to go out on their own?
Never underestimate the power of a business coach in your life. I never thought I needed a business coach – how wrong I was! Once I finally got a business coach, my business transformed. More importantly, my whole mindset changed for the better. I wish I considered getting a business coach much earlier.
As an entrepreneur (and many other things), you wear multiple hats as creator, doer and fixer, how do you keep on top of it all?
To keep on track I have huge “to do” list, a great team and am no stranger to sheer hard work. There’s no great secret to it – you just do it.
If you were to do it all over again, what would you change? Why?
I probably would have engaged the services of a business coach earlier. I would also have created my furry family a lot earlier. I have three dogs and two cats – and they bring me unbelievable joy. I didn’t grow up in a household with pets. And I never really thought I’d get one. But once I got my first cat, it changed my life. If I knew how wonderful it would be to come home to a house full of gorgeous creatures – each with their own personality and quirks – I would have done it a long time ago. Whenever I come home from a busy day at work, they just help me chill out immediately.
About Valerie Khoo
Valerie Khoo is a journalist, author and entrepreneur. She is National Director of the Australian Writers’ Centre, the fastest growing writers’ centre in the country. Her weekly “Enterprise” column is syndicated across six major Fairfax news sites including smh.com.au and theage.com.au.
Valerie’s most recent book is “Power Stories: The 8 Stories You MUST Tell to Build an Epic Business”. She is also co-founder of SocialCallout.com, a service that connects brands with bloggers.